Maybe the Eagles are making good on Donovan McNabb's call for more playmakers. The teams leading receiver from the tight end position for the last 5 years, L.J. Smith was given the franchise tag by the Eagles today, ensuring that he will be an Eagle next year. The Eagles will be returning this "playmaker", who had a whopping 22 catches and one touchdown in an injury riddled 2007 season, at a price of about 4.5 million. L.J. probably isn't happy with this, as he figured to garner some interest, and a multi-year deal, from other teams looking for a tight end this offseason.
While this might not be a popular move, bringing L.J. back into the fold makes sense at this price. Scouring over the possible free agent tight ends, there isn't much out there to get excited about. The tight end position is very important in the Eagles offense, so at least they will have a guy they can trust who has had some success in the system in the past. The Eagles seem to be gearing up for one last good run with all of their veterans in place, so this move makes sense from that angle. For those that are disappointed with having him another year, name some possible tight ends that the Eagles could have acquired instead. He is the right player at the right price, and will most likely be gone after next season. Let's hope he returns to his 2005/2006 form, and starts finding the end zone more often.